Dental Dictionary


 

Abscess

An infection originating from the root or nerve of the tooth, which causes a swelling in the gums.


Antibiotic

A medication given to help fight bacterial infections in the mouth.


Anesthesia

An agent used to cause temporary loss of sensation and feeling.


Apex

The lowest point in the tooth where the never exists into the jawbone.


Bitewing

A type of x-ray used to detect dental decay and cavities.


Bleaching

The process used to achieve teeth whitening.


Bruxism

The process of teeth grinding.


Canker sore

An ulceration caused by trauma, spicy foods or herpes simplex virus.


Caries

The term used to describe dental decay.


Cavity

The cavitation or hole created by dental decay.


Composite

A white resin material used to fill a tooth once the bacteria and decay have been removed.


Crown

A crown is like a "cap" on a tooth used to protect the tooth either after a large filling or root canal. When too much tooth structure has been removed to complete a large filling, a crown prevents the tooth from breaking during pressure applied by normal chewing forces. A crown is also required after a root canal to prevent re-infection of the tooth.


Decay

The rotten part of a tooth, caused by bacterial growth.


Desensitization

The process of applying a medicament to reduce sensitivity on a tooth.


Distal

A direction away from the middle of the jaw.


Dentin

The second layer in a tooth, located below the enamel but above the pulp or nerves.


Enamel

The outermost layer in a tooth, which covers the dentin and pulp/nerves. This is the region most affected during tooth whitening.


Endodontics

A specific field in dentistry involving the treatment of dental pulp (the region where nerves and blood vessels reside in the tooth).


Filling

The process of removing the rotten part of a tooth and restoring the area with a tooth-colored material.


Fluoride

A naturally occurring mineral used to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. The ADA recommends the application of fluoride every three to six months for those with a moderate to high risk of dental cavities.


Gingivitis

The mildest form of gum disease causing inflammation of gum. The earliest sign is bleeding gum.


Impaction

A condition where a tooth is unable to grow in normally or is stuck underneath gum tissue or bone.


Implant

A “screw-like” device placed in the jaw bone to support a false tooth in areas where teeth are missing.


Impression

The process of taking a mold of the mouth using a tray and paste material.


Interproximal

The space between two adjacent teeth.


Mesial

A direction towards the middle of the jaw.


Mouthguard

A device to be worn in the mouth. Used to prevents injury to teeth and/or jaw during sports activities.


Nightguard

A device to be worn in the mouth. Used to prevents injury to teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding.


Occlusion

The way how the upper and lower teeth close together.


Orthodontics

A specific field in dentistry which involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bite abnormalities or facial irregularities.


Panoramic Radiograph

An x-ray film used to obtain the wide view of the upper and lower jaw and their associated structures.


Porcelain

A type of material used to make the crown of a tooth. A shade is selected to match the porcelain with a patients natural tooth color.


Proxabrush

A go-between cleaner used to remove dental plaque from areas between the teeth most often missed with toothbrushing alone.


Polish

A process to make the tooth or filling smooth and glossy.


Pre-authorization

An approval from the insurance company before any dental treatment is started.


Pre-medication

Medication needing to be taken before dental treatment.


Periodontal Disease

The aggressive form of gum disease causing inflammation of gum, loss of attachment, and bone loss around the surrounding teeth. Treatment often requires deep cleaning and irrigation, with possible antibiotic supplementation


Radiograph

An x-ray picture of your teeth.


Recall

The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment which is recommended by the American Dental Association to occur every 6 months.


Root canal

The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels.


Root canal treatment (RCT)

A treatment used to clean the infection that has infiltrated the nerve and sometimes the jawbone. It is performed to in order to increase the longevity of a deeply infected tooth.


Sealant

A thin resin film that is painted onto the grooves and pits of a tooth to help prevent a cavity from forming. It is most commonly placed on the teeth in the back of your mouth utilized for chewing.


Sedation

The use of medication, sometimes in the form of a pill, to help relieve anxiety.

Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ)


The joint that links the two parts of the jaw together.


Veneer

A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) that attaches to the front of the tooth. It is usually used to improve the appearance of the tooth.


Whitening

The process of changing the color of your enamel, through the use of bleaching agents, for aesthetics.


Wisdom tooth

The eight tooth in the back of your mouth, when counting from the middle (midline). Often times people have wisdom teeth that never grow through the jawbone or partially grow through the jaw bone. This can cause pain, discomfort, and build up of bacteria. 


Xerostomia

A medical condition also known as dry mouth.


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Wednesday:   8:00am - 6:00pm
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